Resistance training greatly influences natural growth hormone production in men, but what about women? A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests that women realize a similar response after weight lifting, even if the exercise period is relatively short-term.
Researchers had 46 women in their 20s engage in endurance training, resistance training or a combination of both types of exercise for 8 weeks. Although there weren’t any significant hormonal changes seen in the endurance training group, those who lifted weights or combined weight training with endurance exercise ended up with higher blood concentrations of the growth hormone IGF-1 and lower concentrations of IGFBP-1, which inhibits tissue growth.
Although this hormonal response is similar to what’s experienced by men, women aren’t likely to build massive muscles the way men do because males produce much more testosterone than the typical female. The difference can be seen in the typical male’s goal to bulk up muscle mass versus the widely held female desire to tone muscle.